Grouting tips

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Mr M, 29 Nov 2006.

  1. Mr M

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    I've just finished tiling my Bathroom walls and whenever I've grouted in the past, I never seem to be able to achieve a satisfactory smooth finish to the grout. Has anyone any suggestions on the following:-

    1) How best to apply the grout
    2) How to achieve a smooth finish to the surface
    3) How long to leave it before wiping off any excess. Should the excess grout be wiped off the tiles immediately or left to dry and then wipe it off with say warm water
    4) What's the most appropriate grout to use in a Bathroom, which has a shower over the bath
    5) I've tiled about 15 square metres of wall and the joints are 2mm thick. What size tub of grout would I need to complete the grouting

    Alternatively, if someone could post a step by step guide to successful grouting then this would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Jasonb

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    1 Proper grout float

    2 Use float to remove as much excess as possinle then sponge as the grout firms up.

    3 This will depend on the absorbancy of the tile, depth of grout and type of grout, generally wait until it feels firm.

    4 Don't use combined grout/adhesive or ready mixed. Go for a powdered grout, for showers I tend to use BAL Superflex but if its not pumped or high pressure you could get away with standard BAl wall grout as its a bit easier to clean up.

    5 Assuming say 10x8 tiles then a 3.5kg bag will do the lot

    Jason
     
  3. gcol

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    Just wanted to add:
    the point where most tiling newbies come unstuck is that they leave the grout too long before sponging it off, then it's a nightmare to get off the face of the tile. My advice is to lightly sponge the tiles after about 15 mins, then again after another 20-30 mins (you can do this as you grout the rest of the room). There should be lumps of wet grout left on the tile face now (just a white haze). Check that the haze will wipe off with your finger. Leave it for a few hours (or even until the next day) for the grout to properly harden and dust off with a dry cloth (I recommend you wear a dust mask).
    Then fill the bath with water and seal around it with silicone.
     
  4. Lower

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    i've got a slightly different technique. Use a proper grout scraper to put the grout into the gaps between the tiles, cleaning off as much of the excess as you can with the scraper. The get a damp, firm sponge and wipe over the grout straight away. You'll find that you remove a tiny bit of the grout from the joint, but if you are careful you can get the tiles completely clean and and a really smooth, clean grout.
     
  5. gcol

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    Of course, those in the know, use a marshalltown grout float to apply the grout and a washboy to clean it off. ;)
     
  6. Mr M

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    Thanks for all of your responses

    Could you please explain what a proper one is as I am not sure exactly what you mean. How much is one to buy? Are they available in the likes of Screwfix, B&Q or Wickes etc. or only from a tiling suppliers, say Topps Tiles? How much should I be paying for one?

    What sort of consistency should powdered grout be mixed to and what's the best way to mix it ie water in 1st, then powder, or vice versa? Mix it in a small pot and stir it with a stick or something along those lines? Mix sufficient to do the whole 15 sq. metres in one go, so as its consistent or mix it in smaller batches?

    I got 5kg, just to be on the safe side :LOL:

    Can I also ask, if the tiles are not perfectly flat to one another ie if one is 'proud' of the adjacent one (which some of mine unfortunately are), do I need to do anything when grouting to compensate for this or will sponging the grout off allow it to find its own level
     
  7. Jasonb

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    For the float Screwfix 18498 will do for occasional use.

    Water in first then stir as you tip the powder in, for small amounts I use a 38mm filling knife, for large amounts and coloured grout then a whisk in a drill is easier. Aim for a consistancy like peanut butter, the smooth type not the crunchy ;) . For you it would be best to mix a small amount and see how you get on with it.

    The float will set the grout to the level of each tile accross the joint.

    Jason
     
  8. gcol

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    BOOO!! Ya pinched that Jase. ;)
     
  9. Mr M

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    Thanks for your help. I’m now armed with my new grout trowel £6.99 from a local DIY shop and a new sponge and I will hopefully complete the grouting tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know what the finished results are like.

    Just out of curiosity, Would you normally scoop the grout out of the container that you have it mixed in, using the grouting trowel or would you normally get it out with something else and transfer it onto the trowel (to try to keep it relatively clean and hopefully prolong its life)?
     
  10. Jasonb

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    I mix in a 2.5lts bucket/tub and scoop out with the grout float.

    Jason
     
  11. gcol

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    I mix grout in a plastic paint kettle and transfer it to a 9" paint roller tray and just use it from that with the grout float. You can easily wipe grout off on the edge of the tray. The tray will hold quite a lot of grout and the edges are low enough for easy access.
     
  12. Moz

    Moz

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    marshalltown grout float to apply the grout and a washboy

    was it the german Karl Dahm ...the daddy of washboys ..lol ;)

    good advice here as usual....

    some good excellent pro tiler tools here ...

    http://www.tradetiler.com/acatalog/

    mixing
    if big area bucket ....the grout trowel an marshalltown grout float an the washboy
    dont now if mentioned or you Know , Mr M
    wipe /clean up diagonal too the tiles laid so your NEVER removing along lines of grout ..;)
     

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